Insurance for lovers, oldtimers & oldtimers – Canstar

Car lovers are a passionate bunch. They love to talk, watch, eat, live and breathe, anything that has to do with cars. If you are in this camp, then most likely you have invested your hard earned money in a specific car or car collection, or in restoring the beloved car you have always wanted.

However, when it comes to protecting your precious possessions, you may find that regular fully comprehensive car insurance may not be the best solution. So how do you find the right car insurance for your particular classic car or classic car?

Let's examine some terms that you as a car enthusiast are likely to come across when looking for insurance for your vehicle:

In this article we cover:

What is a classic car?

Depends on. In general, a classic car is not an everyday runabout, but one that you use for special occasions, weekend trips or just for a show at events. They also tend to be older cars, not your mainstream models today, but some modern cars can be considered classics.

A modified vehicle is usually viewed differently from an oldtimer or oldtimer for insurance reasons.

Neil Athorn is President of the Australian Historic Motoring Federation (AHMF), a national organization that oversees thousands of classic car clubs across Australia. He estimates that there are around 175,000 club members across the country who own more than 400,000 classic cars and spend up to $ 1 billion annually on maintenance and restoration work to keep their vehicles running.

Some clubs may be specific to a particular car model, others to a particular manufacturer, and others to a particular era.

The AHMF has its own classification for classic cars, vintage cars and historic cars, but there is no single definition of a classic car that is accepted by all.

Shannons, part of the Suncorp Group, describes itself as one of the leading insurance providers for motorists in Australia. It also runs auctions and a club for car enthusiasts.

Damien Bray, a portfolio manager at Shannons, told Canstar that the automotive industry typically considers cars manufactured before 1950 to be vintage, veteran, or antique, depending on the year of manufacture.

Other categories Shannons is considering are:

  • Classic for cars older than 30 years
  • Up-and-coming classic for cars that were manufactured 15 to 30 years ago
  • Modern for cars built in the last 15 years.

Mr Bray said the company also provides protection for modified cars.

Some classic cars at a racing event in Darwin. Photo credit: Michael Lund

What types of insurance are there for classic cars?

Not every car insurer offers classic car insurance as this is a very specialized market. So you need to check carefully what type of coverage is available to see if it suits your needs, your car, and your wallet.

The type of coverage available is listed in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for each insurance policy. It is important that you read this document carefully to see what is covered in any policy you are considering for your car and what terms of use may apply

These conditions may vary between providers, the number of which is limited as not all insurance companies have insurance cover for classic cars.

Mr Bray said Shannons takes a number of factors into account when it comes to a policy on a classic car.

"The main differences between typical auto insurance and classic car insurance are the following features that make coverage more suitable for a classic car," he said.

Agreed value of your car – something between you and your insurer

Unlike most auto insurance policies, where market value coverage is more common, Bray said classic car insurance tends to be taken out at a value agreed between the policyholder and the insurer.

“The value of a classic car can vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle. The value depends on the condition of the vehicle, its rarity and its attractiveness. These factors are all taken into account in determining a reasonable agreed value, ”said Bray.

Restricted usage options and gaps in coverage – how often do you use your car?

“A sunny weekend is a great time to enjoy a classic car, but classic cars often spend most of their time tucked away in the shed. Classic car insurance offers reduced premiums for cars that are not used regularly, ”said Bray.

Many classic car insurance companies offered reduced premiums for restoring a car.

“Vintage cars usually go through a restoration phase at some point, and many projects can take years. The car can be out of service for a long time, so the classic car insurance offers a reduced premium while the car is not on the road, ”he added.

Choice of repairer – the choice is yours

With most classic car insurance companies, you can choose which workshop or mechanic you want to repair damage to your car.

“A classic car owner often knows the most experienced and trustworthy workshop for their car,” said Bray.

Discounts for multiple vehicles – more than one classic car

“Classic car enthusiasts often have more than one car. Classic cars tend to "brood" in a garage, and many enthusiasts end up with several, "Bray said.

As a result, he said that many policies aimed at classic cars include premium discounts for every classic car insured under a multi-vehicle policy.

Salvage rights – what happens if the car is written off?

“If a car is 35 years or older and is totaled in a collision, the owner can keep the unrepaired vehicle free of charge. Then it could be used for parts for another vehicle or as a head start for the next project, ”said Bray.

Remember, this is just Shannon's version of classic car insurance. Not all insurers cover classic cars, but another one is the NRMA, which classifies cars a little differently by age.

  • Veteran cars are those made before 1919
  • Classic cars were manufactured between 1919 and 1930, and
  • Classic cars from the age of 15 can be recognized by the NRMA as collector's items.

The company also covers other types of vehicles and motorcycles as part of their classic car insurance and the price you pay depends on the value they agree with you as the owner.

"We will determine the value of the vehicle by evaluating the market, reviewing similar vehicles and considering the condition of the vehicle," an NRMA spokesman told Canstar.

"We may ask for photos of the vehicle to support our assessment and insure your vehicle at the correct value."

The condition of the car is taken into account, but coverage may still be available even if the car is still being restored.

The NRMA classic car cover is only intended for cars that are used occasionally, e.g. As a rule, insurance cover does not exist if your classic car is used as the main vehicle, you use it regularly or drive it for more than 9,000 km a year.

Enthusiast Motor Insurance is another provider that takes care of classic cars and may consider coverage even if the car is your everyday vehicle, although it does say you can get a discount on the premiums if your car is not out and about a lot.

Brett Williams, a business development manager at Enthusiast, told Canstar that the company appeals to a wide range of auto enthusiasts, including those looking for more modern collector's cars.

"Some enthusiasts might be interested in having the latest model of a particular car and others might take apart cars and reset them to be as they were originally built," he said.

"Anyone who has a passion for their car is really an enthusiast."

How can you negotiate a good deal with a classic car policy?

Good business is always possible, said Athorn of the AHMF, and club members are often the first to pass the message on to others.

"The strength of the movement is so great that at club meetings, when someone is doing good or rough business, it is discussed," he told Canstar.

Brian Garrett, President of the Classic and Historic Automobile Club of Australia, based in Victoria, agreed, saying it was a good idea to look around, even if your options may be limited.

"Word of mouth is the main source (for information about good business) followed by calling insurance companies," he told Canstar.

Irene Garrett in a 1975 Mercedes Benz 450SL RoadsterBrian Garrett's wife Irene in her 1975 Mercedes Benz 450SL Roadster (supplied).

How much is your classic car worth?

An essential part of negotiating a good deal is the agreed value of the car to be insured. Popular classic cars may be easier to evaluate than rarer ones.

"Most classic car owners follow the values ​​pretty closely," said Garrett.

“The owner can propose a value and the insurance company will either accept or reject that value. Sometimes they might want to see the vehicle before insuring it. "

This is a point made by Mr. Williams by Enthusiast.

“We emphasize to all of our customers that we don't value cars,” he said. "We arrive at an agreed value for which we and the customer are happy to cover the vehicle – and not really tell people how much their car is worth."

Shannon's Mr. Bray also noted that unlike a typical everyday car, which tends to depreciate in value over time, the value of classic cars can often go up, so any policy renewal must reflect that changed value.

Graeme Adams, vice president of the Queensland-based Roadrunner Car Club, said it was important to keep an up-to-date record of your classic car to help you negotiate the agreed value.

"In any case, when determining a value, you should bring photos, documentation of recent restorations, component overhauls and / or new parts, panels or tires," he said.

"When taking out primary insurance, it is often a good idea to take the vehicle to the insurer's assessment center and update it annually and keep records."

Roadrunner Car Club President Graeme Block with his 1988 Porsche 911 CarreraRoadrunner Car Club President Graeme Block with his 1988 Porsche 911 Carrera (included).

Does the frequency with which you drive your classic car affect your policy?

The more often your classic car is used and the more kilometers it covers, the greater the potential risk of accidents or damage.

Enthusiast Mr. Williams said there would be a difference in the pricing of a policy for a car driven daily as opposed to an occasional car.

Some providers may even include mileage limits in their policies and require regular odometer reviews to make sure you are not exceeding the allotted distance.

Roadrunner's Mr. Adams said car use is often a "huge talking point with a potential insurer." Likewise, where a car is stored, the age of the driver and any driver restrictions, all of which can affect the price of a policy.

But you probably bought your classic car because you want to take it on the road or show it at events and shows, and AHMF's Mr Athorn also warned of the risk of not using your beloved vehicle from time to time.

"Cars are better used occasionally, or everything dries up and you get oil leaks and sticky clutches and brakes," he said.

"A trip, even over short distances, every few months is more good than harm."

Compare car insurance with Canstar

The table below shows a snapshot of the auto insurance policies in the Canstar database with links to the providers' websites. Please note that results are based on a male driver aged 30-39 in New South Wales with no coverage for a driver under 25 sorted by star rating (highest to lowest) and then by provider name (alphabetically).

If you want to compare policies beyond those listed in the tables above, you can use Canstar's auto insurance comparison tool to create a product comparison that may be better tailored to your needs.

Cover image source: SadequlHussain /

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